Small businesses have a lot on their minds these days. They have to turn a profit, obviously. And they have to do so while being productive, efficient, and up-to-date with customer demands. Luckily for the business owners out there, there’s a ton of software that can help with that last part. Now, of course, there are the juggernaut CRM brands that do everything really well, but their price tags are often too steep for SMBs just getting off the ground. So what are some affordable ones?

We’re going to break down two of the “affordable” CRM software out there and stack them up against each other. But believe me, the only thing “small” about Insightly and Nimble are the price tags; they both have plenty under their hoods to allow companies to better engage their customers. How you decide to implement them is totally up to you.

Price Insightly Nimble
Cost To Use Insightly Standard costs $9/user/month when paid monthly. Instead, when paid annually, it costs $84/user/year— a savings of 22%. Nimble Business costs $15/user/month.
Free Trial 14-day trial with no credit card required 14-day trial with no credit card required
Additional Notes Non-profit organizations receive 1 free user for every user that’s paid for. You can add more storage (in 25GB increments) for $25/account/month.

The annual subscription to Insightly puts its price at right around half of Nimble’s cost. That’s the first and most glaring thing you’ll notice in the chart. Obviously, there are factors that make either app incredibly appealing to users despite the price tag, but I have a duty to mention this anyway. While both Insightly and Nimble offer 14-day trials before purchasing one of their plans, Insightly goes an extra mile for non-profits; they essentially pay half of what a typical SMB would pay per month.

The price points for both software aren’t terrible here, but it’s clear that one stands out and leaves more money in your wallet at the end of the day… and every month.

Verdict: Insightly wins this.

Mobility Insightly Nimble
Mobile Apps Has dedicated apps for both Android and iOS. Has only a dedicated iPhone app. So far, there is no Android or iPad app.
Mobile Browser As long as your mobile device has a browser and an internet connection, you can access Insightly’s mobile site. Nimble works on mobile browsers—with varying effectiveness, depending on the browser.

Let’s face it. Customer engagement and business operation has evolved over the last decade to become more reliant on mobile. It’s only fair that we take a look at what both Insightly and Nimble offer on the mobile side of things.

Insightly’s decision to not limit itself to iOS opens it up to a wider range of users in the long-term. Currently, Nimble’s app is just for the iPhone and its mobile site is often slightly erratic for users. Versatility is important and because of its broader mobile vision, Insightly has the edge here.

Verdict: Insightly wins this.

Core Features Insightly Nimble
Contact Management Yes Yes
Project Management Yes Yes, but done untraditionally
Task Management Yes Yes
Integrated Email Yes, with a widget Yes
Storage Unlimited Comes with 5GB; additional storage is $25/25GB/account
Third Party Integration Yes, including MailChimp, Google Apps, Office 365 Yes, including MainChimp, Dropbox, QuickBooks
Google Contacts Sync Yes Yes
Google Calendar Sync Yes Yes
Reporting Yes (100,000 records) Yes (30,000 records)
Social Media Integration Yes Yes

When taking a look at traditional core features we’ve come to expect in contemporary CRM software, we begin to see a lot of overlap between Insightly and Nimble. At the core, they both are providing the means to the same end… the means just happen to be different in some instances.

In terms of traditional contact/task management, both Insightly and Nimble handle this well. They both have a wide range of third party integrations and they both also sync up with Google Contacts and Google Calendar so that everything integrates more smoothly with how you’d normally operate. Insightly is a more robust project management machine, however, with powerful tools built right into the service. Nimble doesn’t do project management the same way, but its focus on social media integration really ups the ante here; opportunities lead to conversions lead to sustaining those relationships. And Nimble really drives that point home with their social media focus.

If you’re looking for storage space, you get more bang for the buck with Insightly. Unlimited storage is a pretty assuring thing. With Nimble, you get 5GB with the Business plan, and additional 25GB increments cost $25/account. Maybe that’s a killer for you. But Nimble makes up for this with their Unified Inbox feature that integrates your Gmail or Yahoo mail (or anything else, really) right into its interface. Insightly does offer a widget that keeps track of emails, but that’s hardly the same thing.

With regards to core features, this is too close to call.

Verdict: Draw.

What Makes Them Unique:
For our first digression, let’s talk about project management. If you’re under the impression that this entails more than just task lists and checkmarks, you’re right. And Insightly absolutely zeroes in on this with their software.

 Insightly Screenshot

Other CRM services offer project management tools on par with what Insightly offers—but Insightly gives it to you for free with their Standard plan. What Insightly recognizes here is that a project is more than just the sum of its tasks; it’s also about milestones, stages, and timeframes. Insightly gives you granular control of each project by allowing you to set up projects and their tasks, milestones, and pipelines (a fancy way of mapping out every last detail of a project and its timeframes). You can also give each contact different roles, depending on what they’re expected to provide to each individual project.

Nimble’s project management capabilities aren’t quite as nuanced. But that’s not really their main priority anyway. Nimble’s goal? Social media engagement.

Nimble Screenshot

And that brings us to our second digression. Within moments of launching Nimble, you realize that you’re in familiar territory. If you’re ever tinkered with Facebook or Twitter, Nimble’s interface will be a welcome one. You’ve got the ability to add social media accounts and pages from pretty much every network you and your clients are on, and you can sync up your contacts so that you’re constantly connected to what they need. Nimble Daily is a feature that alerts you of birthdays, job changes, and insights across all your connected networks. You can post directly to each network without having to go through an external link to do so. Also, if you happen to catch a client update in your news feed, you can assign a team member to take action on that—directly from Nimble.

Insightly doesn’t do social integration the same way, but it’s still quite impressive. You do have an overview of what each client’s social feeds look like with just a click or two in their app. You can also choose to categorize each contact—for Email, Follow-Up, Meeting, and whatever else you wanted to use.

When it’s all said and done, Insightly’s and Nimble’s interfaces are feature-packed for what they want you to utilize their software for. If we’re talking about ease-of-use, I’ll have to give the slight nod to Nimble. But if we’re talking about project management glory, it’d be difficult for me to turn away from Insightly.

Verdict: Draw.

The Final Word:
Here’s the thing. A comparison of Insightly and Nimble is thoroughly irresponsible without the mention that they each focus on two very specific points in the CRM world: project management/collaboration and social media engagement. When choosing between both CRM software, you have to first understand what the goal of your small business is. Is it to have granular control of your project management? Is it to have stalker-ish access to your clientele social networking habits in order to better engage them?

Although both Insightly and Nimble are too close here to declare an outright winner, because of its price point and availability on mobile, the edge here—albeit a slight one—goes to Insightly.

Verdict: Insightly is the better option for SMBs.